It’s Alive! Live Tiles and how to Create a Great Out-of-App Experience
Icons. Icons. Icons. Icons. Icons. Icons. Icons. Icons. Getting bored yet? We are. The computer experience has been invaded by a sea of icons. Minimalist logos that do provide you with a sense of what the app is, but no real value outside of some aesthetic portent. Is there a better way? We think so. Introducing the concept of a "tile", Windows 8 has turned the tired, old icon model on its head and instead provides real value to the user by giving them information they can use, right away, perhaps without even having to get into your app. Tiles allow you to use push notifications to drive information from the app (or a service the app uses) to a tile in a very wide array of capabilities to drive home a message to a user. Need to push a number to a tile? Sure, go ahead. Text? We say "why not?". Pictures? Capital idea. Whatever the information you want to push to your app's tile, one of the ways to keep your app top of a user's mind is to implement a live tile for the app. By the time the applause is done at the end of this session, you'll be able to articulate the value a live tile adds to your app as well as figure out how to implement a live tile for it. So have at it. Live tile that sucker.